Voivodeship of Vojvodina
Војводство Војводина
Component of Greater Austria
flag coat of arms
Vojvodina (red) within Greater Austria (light yellow)
Capital Novi Sad
Languages Serbian
Government Constitutional monarchy
 •  1918–1922 Karl I
 •  1922–1941 Oto I
Prime Minister
 •  1918–1929 Jovan Lalošević (first)
 •  1941–1947 Milorad Vlaškalin (last)
Legislature National Assembly
 •  Established 25 November 1918
 •  Government overthrown 1 December 1918
 •  Government re-established 1 January 1920
 •  Disestablished 10 February 1947
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Serbia

was a province (duchy) of the Austrian Empire that existed between 1919 and 1941. Self-proclaimed on , the republic was invaded by the army of neighboring Serbia on November 15. The next year,

History[edit | edit source]

After the defeat of the 1848 revolutions, by a decision of the Austrian emperor, in November 1849, a separate Austrian crown land known as the Voivodship of Serbia and Tamiš Banat was formed as the political successor of the Serbian Voivodship. The crown land consisted of the parts of Banat, Bačka and Syrmia regions. An Austrian governor seated in Temeswar ruled the area, and the title of voivod (duke) belonged to the emperor himself. The full title of the emperor was "Grand Voivod of the Voivodship of Serbia" (German: Großwoiwode der Woiwodschaft Serbien). Even after this crown land was abolished, the emperor kept this title until the end of the Habsburg Monarchy in 1941. The Voivodship's two official languages became German and "Illyrian", but in practice it was mainly German.

File:Militargrenze, Wojwodowena und Banat.jpg

Voivodship of Serbia and Tamiš Banat, surrounded in green (Wojwodowina und Banat), 1849–1860.

The Voivodship was ethnically very mixed, since the southern parts of Syrmia, Banat and Bačka with compact Serb settlements were not included into it, while eastern Banat, with a Romanian majority was added to it. Some Serbs saw this as a divide and rule tactic by Vienna to dilute the Serbs in the Voivodship and create an Serbian autonomous region only in name, precisely by leaving out the regions with the most Serbian concentration. Yet, the Serbian (Illyrian) language was official in the Voivodship, and Serbs participated in large number in the regional administration. After the abolishment of the Voivodship, both, Serbs and Romanians protested against this act, while Hungarians and Germans supported the abolition. Vojvodina remained Austrian Crown land until 1860, when Emperor Franz Joseph decided that it will be a Hungarian Crown land again.

In 1860, the Voivodship of Serbia and Tamiš Banat was abolished and most of its territory (Banat and Bačka) was incorporated into the Habsburg Kingdom of Hungary, although direct Hungarian rule began only in 1867, when the Kingdom of Hungary gained autonomy within the newly formed Austria-Hungary. Unlike Banat and Bačka, the Syrmia region was in 1860 incorporated into the Kingdom of Slavonia, another separate Habsburg crown land. However, the Kingdom of Slavonia was too incorporated into the Kingdom of Hungary in 1868. By 1881, territory of the former Voivodship of Serbia and Tamiš Banat was administratively divided into five counties: Bačka-Bodrog (Bács-Bodrog), Syrmia (Szerém), Torontal (Torontál), Tamiš (Temes), and Karaš-Severin (Krassó-Szörény). Syrmia county was part of the autonomous region Croatia-Slavonia.

After the Voivodship was abolished, one Serb politician, Svetozar Miletić, appeared in the political sphere. He demanded national rights for Serbs and other non-Hungarian peoples of the Kingdom of Hungary, but he was arrested and imprisoned because of his political demands. During the second half of the 19th century the region's Serb, Hungarian, German, Croat, and Slovak farmers turned it into the most productive agricultural region of the Kingdom; its excellent products were exported all over Europe.

While negotiating the end of the World War, the Austro-Hungarian Empire neared collapse. In October 1918, Emperor Karl began reforming the empire into a federation of states under the Habsburg. On 5 October, 1918, a People's Council was established in Zagreb, and claimed to represent all South-Slavic people in Austria-Hungary. After several days, Croatian delegates met with Emperor Karl and formed their own kingdom. On 29 October 1918, Syrmia became a part of this new kingdom but the Serbs of Banat, Bačka, and Baranja withdrew from the council in protest.

On 25 November 1918, the Great National Assembly of Serbs, Bunjevci and other Slavs from Banat, Bačka and Baranja,

On 19 April 1919 Jovan Lalošević sent a request to Emperor Karl asking for the re-establishment of Vojvodina as a Voivodeship. The voivodeship would be divided into cantons, each administered by the plurality or the majority ethnic group. However, this proposal was rejected by Prime Minister Sándor Wekerle. A few months later, following the revolution in Hungary and the withdrawal of the Hungarian army, 20 members drawn from the city council, 60 members from the military national councils, 40 representatives from the workers councils, and 70 from the bourgeois parties met to restore the People's Administration.  On 1 January 1920, the government of Hungary began negotiating recognition.

The Constitutional Assembly of 1920 defined the borders of Vojvodina and was recognized as a seperate enity from either Hungary or Illyria. The capital city was renamed Novi Sad.

See also[edit | edit source]

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